School of the Laity

Upcoming Class Dates

October 2020 ONLINE Registration Form

October 2020 ONLINE Brochure_

Questions? Contact Marty Susie, SOL Registrar at marbull@comcast.net, or 912-228-1353

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“David, Kingship, and the Idea of the Messiah”- ONLINE

Savannah Presbytery is excited to continue to provide ONLINE experiences of our School of the Laity program this October with Dr. Dan Pioske. We invite everyone to join us on this re-imagined opportunity to partake in this Old Testament Course. Gone for now is the “drive” to
Epworth by the Sea! Gone for now is the cost of the hotel and meals!
Instead, stimulate your mind, fortify your soul, and build relationships with other Presbyterians- all from your own home!

There are no pre-requisites to taking this class—we welcome first-time learners, School of the Laity graduates seeking a refresher course, folks considering a pathway to becoming a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE), and even pastors who may want to experience Dr. Pioske’s instruction.

WHAT: “David, Kingship, and the Idea of the Messiah”
David is the most referred to individual in the Bible. Join Dr. Dan Pioske,
Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University, as we
examine the biblical fascination with David, texts that describe his humble
beginnings, and his eventual rise to the throne in Jerusalem. We will conclude
with the concept of the Messiah that originates with David and how this idea
is connected to Jesus by the New Testament writers.

WHEN: Our October Session will be offered over a two-week period that will optimize the course instruction and participant preparation with personal group interaction via the Zoom platform.

Participants will need access to a laptop, tablet, or smart phone with video and audio capabilities. (Churches may seek to make these tools available to those who do not have access.)

The sessions will be:

Week 1: Friday, October 2nd & Saturday October 3rd
We will kick-off our time together Friday from 7-8:30 PM with introductions,
course expectations and Zoom guidelines. We will begin Saturday morning’s
session at 10:00 AM. Both Saturday sessions will be held 10:00 AM-Noon and
1:00-2:30 PM with a break for lunch.

Week 2: Saturday, October 10th

HOW: Registration forms are available now and the registration fee is $95. Participants should register ASAP so pre-course work can be communicated, and participants can complete the assignments prior to the first session.

Questions? Contact Marty Susie, SOL Registrar, at marbull@comcast.net, or 912-228-1353

            Dr. Dan Pioske

Help us promote this excellent presbytery program through Minutes for Mission, bulletin inserts and personal conversations.

Here are some thoughts from some of our graduates:

“…The School of the Laity helped me to think out of the box to come up with creative ways to spread the news of Jesus Christ.”

“…The School of the Laity has given me the courage to soar!”

“…The most meaningful part of the School of the Laity for me has been that it has provided a safe place to explore, to question, to express both doubts and disagreements.”

History of School of the Laity

In the fall of 1988, ten laypeople of Savannah Presbytery became the first graduating class of an innovative presbytery ministry know as the School of the Laity. A very demanding program of study requiring a two-year commitment and additional hours of class and preparation time, the School of the Laity was a vision of then Executive Presbyter Dr. J. Richard Bass, who saw the desire of laypersons to engage in serious study of scripture, theology, and ministry.

The students participate in two summer courses taught by college professors. Each session involves eighteen hours of class time and additional hours of personal study. The courses are: Introduction to the Bible and Introduction to Reformed Theology. In the final summer, they complete their studies with an in-depth course in Practical Ministry.

Students complete briefer courses in the spring and fall of two successive years. Savannah Presbytery ministers lead studies on Old Testament, New Testament, History, Mission & Polity and Practical Ministry 1.  To date, over 250 laypeople have participated in the School of the Laity, representing two-thirds of the churches of the presbytery. Its graduates are providing outstanding leadership in their congregations, the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.




History of the
School of the Laity program

2017 School of the Laity graduates, from left: Ken Bailey, Emily Crawford Sanders, Barbara Conner, Daniel Walters

In the fall of 1988, ten laypeople of Savannah Presbytery became the first graduating class of an innovative presbytery ministry know as the School of the Laity. A very demanding program of study requiring a two-year commitment and additional hours of class and preparation time, the School of the Laity was a vision of then Executive Presbyter Dr. J. Richard Bass, who saw the desire of laypersons to engage in serious study of scripture, theology, and ministry.

The students participate in two summer courses taught by college professors. Each session involves eighteen hours of class time and additional hours of personal study. The courses are: Introduction to the Bible and Introduction to Reformed Theology. In the final summer, they complete their studies with an in-depth course in Practical Ministry.

Students complete briefer courses in the spring and fall of two successive years. Savannah Presbytery ministers lead studies on Old Testament, New Testament, History, Mission & Polity and Practical Ministry 1.

To date over 250 laypeople have participated in the School of the Laity, representing two-thirds of the churches of the presbytery. Its graduates are providing outstanding leadership in their congregations, the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.